Star Trek Enterprise: Season 2
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Set in the 22nd century, a hundred years before James T. Kirk helmed the famous starship of the same name, ENTERPRISE takes place in an era when interstellar travel is still in its infancy. Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) has assembled a crew of brave explorers to chart the galaxy on a revolutionary spacecraft: Enterprise NX-01. As the first human beings to venture into deep space, these pioneers will experience the wonder and mystery of the final frontier as they seek out new life and new civilizations.
With Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) trapped in the 31st century, season 2 of Enterprise opens with a rousing resolution to season 1's cliffhanger finale. The first four episodes instantly became fan favorites: "Shockwave, Part II" advances the Suliban's role in the Temporal Cold War; "Carbon Creek" reveals the real first contact (albeit a secret one) between humans and Vulcans in Pennsylvania in 1957, allowing Jolene Blalock to play T'Pol's "second foremother" in a Sputnik-era scenario; in "Minefield," Reed (Dominick Keating) is nearly killed by an explosive device attached to Enterprise's hull; the damage is repaired in "Dead Stop," featuring award-winning digital modeling effects as the disabled Enterprise encounters a mysterious automated space station. Season 2 also emphasizes Archer's ongoing friction with the Vulcan High Command, exacerbated when T'Pol's career is threatened (in "Stigma") by her involuntary involvement with ostracized mind-melders. Connections to the original Star Trek (series and films) continue with episodes involving Tellarites, Tholians, Klingons, Andorians, and even a brief appearance by a Tribble (one of many occasions for humor in Dr. Phlox's sickbay, the setting of many of the season's finest dialogue-driven scenes). Early warp-drive history is also explored in "First Flight," a Right Stuff-like episode guest-starring Keith Carradine as Archer's friend and rival in breaking the Warp 2 barrier.
Consisting primarily of stand-alone episodes that integrate ongoing story arcs, season 2 showcases the primary cast with generally good results: Mayweather (Anthony Montgomery) visits the "boomer" cargo ship he was raised on in "Horizon"; Hoshi (Linda Park) experiences unsettling transporter symptoms in "Vanishing Point"; and Tucker (Connor Trineer) plays a pivotal role in several episodes, notably "Dawn," "Precious Cargo" and "Cogenitor." And while "Regeneration" provoked controversy among fans for introducing the yet unnamed Borg in an early Starfleet context, it's a fine episode (with echoes of The Thing) that holds up to scrutiny, while others (including "The Crossing," "The Breach" and "Cogenitor") feel somewhat recycled, indicating the challenge of finding new ideas in the Star Trek canon. Overall, however, season 2 is consistently strong, with several episodes directed by cast alumni from previous Trek series, including NextGen's LeVar Burton, and Voyager's Roxanne Dawson and Robert Duncan McNeill. They all lead up to a devastating attack on Earth (with seven million casualties, including Trip's younger sister) in "The Expanse," ending the season with high-stakes mystery as Enterprise enters a treacherous region of space in search of the Xindi, an enemy race that factors heavily in season 3.
Abundant bonus features include a generous selection of deleted scenes (non-essential, but interesting to fans); audio commentary (on "Dead Stop" and "Regeneration") by writers Mike Sussman and Phyllis Strong, who explain the challenge of writing under constantly shifting production conditions; and text commentary (on "Stigma" and "First Flight"), in which Trek veterans Michael and Denise Okuda demonstrate their encyclopedic knowledge of Star Trek fact and fiction. Six Easter eggs, known as "NX-01 Files," are hidden on the Special Features menus; they offer brief glimpses into specific aspects of production, including set recycling and art direction. "Enterprise" secrets are revealed for those who pay meticulous attention to detail; "Inside 'A Night in Sickbay'" offers a behind-the-scenes assessment of that memorable episode; and "LeVar Burton: Star Trek Director" celebrates the actor's smooth transition to directing after his stint on Next Generation. "Enterprise Profile: Jolene Blalock" is a tribute to the sexy actress by her fellow cast members and executive producers Brannon Braga and Rick Berman, including Blalock's assessment of T'Pol's pivotal role as Enterprise's resident Vulcan. Best of all, however, are the hilarious outtakes: They show the cast as a family unit, combining hard work with humor as the second season progresses. --Jeff Shannon
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Top Customer Reviews
Season 2 is a bridge to the seasons to follow: The natural evolution for a series is met in ST Enterprise Season 2, which is character driven: It fully develops the characters and the relationships between them, their hopes, dreams. Their banter, friendly disagreements, their playful sides, their common goals make this an interesting character-driven season, allowing the audience to easily relate to all of the characters by the end of Season 2.
Without having the maverick, yet steady as he goes captain who puts his crew first; the interfering, condescending Vulcans who really do know best for having walked that road; the break-the-mold loyal Vulcan second in command who is for humans/against humans, according to the situation; the easy-going, down-homsey engineer who jumps in without thinking, yet who can use his superior intellect to build anything and solve problems; the skittish, yet one who can be brave communications engineer; the loner arms officer, who begins to feel like he has a family in the crew of Enterprise; the confident highly knowledgeable doctor whose insatiable curiosity is constantly being assuaged and surprised by humans - without all of these conflicted characters there could not have been the Season 3 to follow.
Season 2 - The Bridge - successfully did the job it needed to do! It had good plotting, but not the great plotting to follow in Season 3. Season 2 had brief plots which disclosed how characters would act under various circumstances. Laying the groundwork of fully-developed characters and how they react under given circumstances in Season 2, allowed the writers both freedom and preparedness to develop a fully plot-driven Season 3.
Season 2 works.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
As for Enterprise, I felt that it got back to the roots of Star Trek that TNG, DS9, and Voyager had somewhat departed from. Don't get me wrong; I love, own, and enjoy all of the Star Treks.
The entire cast was one of the most gifted I've ever seen in a sci-fi series, with outstanding performances by Scott Bakula and Jolene Blalock as Archer and T'Pol. The stories were sharp, the interaction with the crew enjoyable, and the visual FX among the best on all of the Star Treks to date. People complained about the theme song, which was a radical departure from the previous series, but in my opinion, not to its detriment. The spirit of 'Where My Heart Will Take Me' so captures the basic feeling for Enterprise that I found it to be far more suited to this prequel series, than anything I can imagine being composed for it.
The second season continued the ideals of exploration, while hinting at the larger storylines, such as the Temporal Cold War, showing how First Contact was made with many of the species from the Original Series (giving those species a much needed makeover), and man's early forays out into deep space. This continued to be an important theme throughout the series, beginning in the groundbreaking 1st season, the tense and exciting 3rd season, and the amazing multi-arc 4th and final season, covering the distance between First Contact with the Vulcans (seen in Star Trek: First Contact) and the Original series. The second season, though a bit less exciting than the others (which also happened with TNG, DS9, and VGR), contained some outstanding episodes, such as 'Carbon Creek' where a marooned crew of Vulcans (including T'Pol's grandmother) must adapt to 1950's Earth while hiding their alien origins, 'Stigma' which shed some light on the intolerance of Vulcan society (kind of a mirror for ours), 'Future Tense' which continued the Cold War and introduced the Tholians, 'Regeneration' which shows what happened to the Borg Sphere that reached orbit of 21st Century Earth in 'Star Trek: First Contact', and the nail-biting conclusion 'The Expanse', which set up the beginning of the 3rd season-long story arc on the Xindi.
Quite frankly, I'd bet that anyone who says this show isn't good, is one of those beer-drinking bumpkins who considers garbage like 'Survivor', 'The Apprentice', 'The Bachelor', 'The Simple Life', and 'The Contender' to be good TV.
Ben Stein, once hosting "Win Ben Stein's Money", and former worker for Nixon (Don't hold that against him), has stated that Hollywood has lost contact with the common man. Make a statement to them, and demand that they bring good shows back, instead of those garbage-reality shows.
Enjoy the second season, and indeed all the seasons, of Star Trek: Enterprise and stick it to Hollywood, prove that quality is more important than cheap thrills.
Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed Enterprise as a series on it's own, but it is very obvious that there are differing views on where the fans wanted the series to go as opposed to the writers.
I understand the producers desire to explore new ideas (Temporal Cold War, Xindi) but we Trek fans are nitpickers, and there were so many good opportunities to "fill in the gaps" created by the other four series. What caused the various conflicts with the Klingons and the Romulans? How was Section 31 started? And season four left me wanting for more about the early development of the Federation.
There were some very notable episodes this season, particularly Carbon Creek, Horizon, and Bounty. Minefield makes you want for more of the origins of the Starfleet-Romulan conflict, and Dead Stop seems to foreshadow the Borg storylines better than Regeneration, as I feel it was unnecessary to actually have the Borg in Enterprise at all.
The ultimate shame is that the last season was the one that the fans wanted, and was actually so good that I was anxiously awaiting the next episode after watching each weeks' story. It might be nice to see an occasional made for TV movie with this cast, maybe with a creative idea for a Romulan war (hint, hint.)
I will say, though, if you are only willing to invest in a single season, wait for the fourth one. It's truly worth it.
The Season 3, and the long term goal to safe Earth from the Xindi keep waiting from week to week. Similar to "Alias" or "24".
Overall, is sad that the show is being cancelled.
I don't understand people coming here and writing bad things about Enterprise. If they don't like it, what are they watching it so much? I don't watch shows I don't like, and I don't go and write reviews about them.
Year two featured my favorite Episode. It was called Deadstop. THe crippled Enterprise, far from home, needed help to be able to get back to warp drive over Warp 2. Like magic a "Repair Station" appears and conforms itself to fit the ship and account for the crews taste in food and enjoyment. All for the price of a little warp plasma? Archer senses this is too good too be true and he is right when his helmsman is killed in an "accident." You'll have to watch the story to see how it turns out.
-Enterprise- A show just not given enough time. In a day when reality rules apparently there is just not enough money to put quality Sci-Fi on network TV anymore. What a shame that Enterprise was cancelled. jetsax
Get the 2nd season to have a complete set -- also because the show is cancelled, so there will be some nostalgia there ... but don't expect the depth of TNG or DS9. I'm sure that is why the show was cancelled. Shameful but true.
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